Saturday, June 27, 2009

The end of the road

It has been nearly three months since I wrote my last post here, one that I tentatively called This dying blog. However, I have not even once felt inclined to blog again, a term that I clearly differentiate from writing, for these are two different things. It does amaze me as to why I have suddenly moved away in such an indifferent way from this blog, for no matter how trivial my blog is or was, it was still an act of creation. The reasons for this ending are as hidden at times as the beginning of this blog but some of them are not so.One hides the vivid from the obscure but these chimeras have their own space and time and they have a predilection to strike one unawares.

I differentiate true writing from blogging for writing is a calling and no real writer can fend off this monster love while blogging at best is a pursuit and sometimes quite a trivial one. And then it summates and makes you wonder as to the real reasons behind this act, this act of vanity for if I don't miss blogging, then it confirms my ideas of dilettantism though I never had any doubts about that. Ellis Sharp, perhaps the best British blogger, wrote at his The Sharp Side that the average half life of a blog is three years and I think he is nearly right. I have been around here for nearly that time though I was never prolific or regular by any means. However, one cannot generalize and speak about the motives of everyone who blogs for that would be an exaggeration and an unwarranted one at that.

I think blogging is an activity wherein one does involuntarily let slip in the odd prejudice, the temper and aggression behind the facade of a nice looking Internet page, a page mixed with some half-baked insights, that music, that feeling, this music, that thing and yet, one does slip in the temper behind the careful opinion not actually sublimated or lived through.One reveals without revealing and says without much hiding. There are some blogs that try to steal authority, basing feeling on rhetoric, opinion on a well written paragraph, a novel, a fine poem or a movie badly watched. One must distinguish between blogs that create authority from ones that are purely authoritarian, an example is the fine blog Lenin's tomb, which is basically a blog that speaks, speaks with authority but is not based in authority. There are many blogs in the British space which have now neatly merged with the mainstream, representing the same hallowed thoughts and old ideas, speaking purely from a position of authority, creating the authority of those some texts that we have grown with and refusing to show a mirror to the establishment. The rest is generally considered subaltern for it does not represent the establishment.

However, my road ends here. I do like walking occasionally and sometimes I have lapsed into carefree running but the shadows that had started to lengthen in April have now eclipsed that space which I had kept for words. Sometimes 'emotions mount the hermitage of collected remembrances' and the heart caves in. The weather, the climate, known and unvoiced atrocities, the lingering solitude after a sad song, the train of remembrance, the smoke rings of memory, other tics, some habits, the voices of a few people I recognize here, the moments when I was actually close to some kindred spirits here, these I will cherish forever. But no more new words. Just the memory and desire of, the recollection of some such thoughts in a fictional kingdom, of a subaltern memory, of an unauthenticated, unauthorised desire.


Lupe said...

Several things

I keep thinking blogging is not an act of vanity. I tend to think it is more an attempt to charm away loneliness.

Do I sense a bit of bitterness in those words about blogs that "create authority"? I'm having the feeling that I'm missing something there. But then, I read few foreign blogs, and indeed very few in English. And the local blogs work a lot differently. Anyway, you're (or were?) a strongly rhetorical blogger, maybe you haven't noticed.

No more "new words", there's promise, words are only old threads we weave anew. Know that there will be some of us who will still be coming to check this loom of yours.

Roxana said...

how beautiful, and how true: One hides the vivid from the obscure but these chimeras have their own space and time and they have a predilection to strike one unawares.

you write this at a time when i am struggling with almost the same questions, also fighting NOT to close down. i agree with Atenea, even if there is vanity in some cases, most blogs that i read tell other stories, mostly the need for human closeness and warmth. but it is true that i tend to stay away from very 'intellectual/philosophical' blogs where some people get very agressive and ironical sometimes in asserting their own thinking, i have witnessed it sometimes so i think i get a sense of what kubla is talking about.

what i find precious about blogging is that one has got much more chances to meet kindred spritits, people who share the same interests or sensitivity than real life offers, where the possibilities are so limited.

for me it is simpler (perhaps): almost none of my friends is interested to see my pictures, so instead of keeping them hidden in my computer, it is more interesting for me to see how people here react to them. i don't think that this need to share comes from vanity, you can contradict me if it seems to you otherwise. it is the same basic need which makes us turn to another and say: look, how beautiful this sight is, don't you feel like this too?


yes, we miss you.

and also: i am so grateful that you are still a presence here, that you come to see what i do, it means such a great deal to me. i hope that this is not a post to bid farewell in a more radical way?

Kubla Khan said...

Hello Atenea.

No, no looms, just smoke rings.

Rhetoric? I thought that remembering a particular sunset was just an exercise in remembering, not an attempt to persuade......

Bitterness? Showing or recognizing an "authorizing discourse" or one that "perpetuates power" is not exactly bitterness but then how can you "understand" it?( note the stress within commas, everything is debateable).

There is no promise, just a closure.

Kubla Khan said...

Hi, Roxana.

It is heartening that you visited a dead blog.There is a steady stream of blogs here that do nothing other than perpetuate authorizing discourses, re-enacting old power structures etc. it is not just a case of my sensitivity alone. i think good blogs, as you pointed out, must show a resistance to authority, this authority which is represented in the blogging world by the dominant discourse.

perhaps vanity is a term that alienates people, perhaps self-immersion? perhaps nothing?

you write that"i am so grateful that you are still a presence here",.....that is not the case. i find your blog artistic, very artistic, a hint of old romance. however, you must keep in mind that power structures and underlying authorizing discourses( you notice i am quite interested in this concept)are part of pure romance too or at least in its depiction.

One should not criticize for the heck of it but you must remain conscious of those readers of yours who just comment...."fantastic, fabulous, terrific and so on". Any artistic depiction( you are artistic) cannot be summed up like this. To your photos you bring a discourse, your memory and mood and prejudice. but maybe i should write this stuff on your blog someday.

Suffice it to say, Thank you and others for visiting. I intend to visit the blogs i like regularly. Ciao.

Lupe said...

yes, rhetoric, in a very 19th c. way: you tend to begin your posts with the normal captatio benevolentiae, are a fan of the humilitas topos and like to describe topic beauties just like sunsets, fire and romantic love, old threads in a new loom like words are (never lose the childish eye to see what things really look like and not what we're made to believe they should be: words indeed do look like woven threads). And you handle polemic pretty well when you get political. Which is pretty often, including this post, with its invective against the intellectual system.
I am still struggling to understand what you call an authorizing discourse. I have my own ideas about the subject, but I get the feeling that yours are very different indeed (due to different intellectual environments, perhaps?) and I would like to read them.
I don't mean to sound trollish, as I said, I'm just trying to explain myself and understand you.

Kubla Khan said...

Atenea, Hi

An authorizing discourse is the conventional accepted view of things. it makes us to 'normalize' our experiences.

yes, this post does look invective though it was intended only as a summing up. my point against the intellectual system is that it does not fight against the systems of power often enough but forces us to accept the prevailing wisdom as unquestionable. the authorizing discourse as a matter of fact was routine for the medieval church, normalizing for eg, theological discourse, lives of saints etc.

for eg, the history of your country has an "authorizing narrative" which is taught to your kids etc on a routine basis but it is held as a matter of fact only because it is considered to be the discourse recognized by 'authority', thus forced on you. the same is true for every country, not just yours. this is just a superficial way of understanding 'authority'. the opposite narrative could be true but it may lack authority. thus, differentiate between 'state terror' and 'terrorism', again, people think the latter alone is evil because the first is sanctified by a narrative of power.

take care.

Lupe said...

Of course I know what the concept means, I was asking which is that authorizing discourse you intend to fight, not what it is.

Kubla Khan said...

I don't intend to fight anything, i don't know how you got that 'intend' from. of course, one needs intellectual honesty and strength( which i lack) for these things but so far, i haven't met or seen any intellectual.( i of course do not subscribe to Gramsci's definition of an intellectual, i prefer the Foucauldian approach). however, we move in different circles, so you may know more.

why not chat about these things? i will not even think of persuading you by rhetoric.

Aashu said...

Hmmmmmmmmmmm..........I saw an email notification showing Kubla Khan has wriiten a comment on your blog......and man!!! I was both surprised and excited to see you here but alas!!! this was only this.............hehehehe.......
anyways, He (Alok) is fine, busy these days with his job in bangalore and says he doesn't feel like writing these days......hehe.......we all hope he starts writing again......
By the way, how come you know about me being his brother...